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Andrew Davies, Mark Peel and Laura Balderstone, ‘Digital Histories of Crime and Research-Based Teaching and Learning’, 93-104

Article (Teaching Digital History)

Published onJan 31, 2015
Andrew Davies, Mark Peel and Laura Balderstone, ‘Digital Histories of Crime and Research-Based Teaching and Learning’, 93-104

Abstract
The proliferation of digitised primary sources has created exciting possibilities for those of us teaching undergraduate modules on crime and punishment in nineteenth century England and Wales. In this article, we reflect on our experience of devising and running a ‘special subject’ at the University of Liverpool in which we encourage our students to see themselves as active, independent researchers - as producers, rather than passive consumers, of knowledge. Working on individual projects in a group of 15, students tackle the different stages of the research process side-by-side, discussing issues of research design, record-linkage and the interpretation and analysis of primary and secondary sources with each other as well as with members of staff and PhD students. In our experience, this approach leads to very high levels of student engagement. It also provides invaluable, ‘hands-on’ research training for final year undergraduates as they prepare to embark on their dissertations.

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